Sweets are not bad, they just need to be eaten in moderation. Most humans are born with a sweet tooth. We naturally seek out and enjoy sweets. What about side effects?
- First: Tooth decay definitely increases with candy, but not if the teeth are brushed afterwards.
- Second: A high intake of refined sugar can cause a sugar withdrawal reaction 2 hours later with sweating, dizziness, and a little sleepiness. But this reaction is not harmful and can be relieved quickly by eating some food.
There is a good deal of misunderstanding about harm from sweets. Sweets do not cause hyperactivity, cancer, coronary artery disease, or diabetes. Also, fatty foods are twice as likely to cause obesity as sugars.
What then to do? If you try to eliminate the desserts and candies from your child's diet, you will create an unnecessary battleground. A sugar embargo is unattainable and it's perceived as unfair. A better approach is to set a good example by limiting what sweets you purchase, by not eating sweets for snacks, by brushing your teeth regularly, and by serving balanced meals. That balanced meal can include a dessert.
If you have other questions about sugar, consult your healthcare provider.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 6/1/2008
Last Revised: 7/21/2006 8:00:35 AM
Copyright 1994-2008 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages.